City Hosts January 18 Community Workshop, 7 p.m., Finn Hill Jr. High
The City of Kirkland wants to hear from residents on the process that will lead to the successful siting of a new Fire Station in the Finn Hill Neighborhood. A community workshop will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18 at Finn Hill Junior High School, 8040 NE 132nd Street, Kirkland. City Fire and Capital Improvement Program representatives, as well as the City’s architectural planning firm, will present background information and receive ideas from citizens and businesses about site identification and evaluation. Ideas can also be submitted online at www.kirklandwa.govand will be shared with the City’s Project Team.
“A new strategically located fire station is needed to provide timely fire and emergency medical response to the greatest number of homes and businesses in Finn Hill,” notes Kirkland Fire Chief Kevin Nalder. “What we hear from the community will help us determine the ideal location so that we can best serve the neighborhood within our target response times.” Community feedback will also assist the Fire Department in its updated Strategic Plan, which will address facility needs and service delivery.
The Holmes Point Fire Station (#25) and the Finn Hill Fire Station (#24) are located within the Finn Hill neighborhood. Consolidation of the services provided by these two stations is the most cost effective way to provide consistent response times while covering the greatest area possible. Kirkland’s target response time for responding to a medical emergency is five minutes, the national standard. Its target response time for fire suppression is 5.5 minutes.
The Holmes Point Station is a full-service facility that provides responses for emergency medical, fire suppression, and hazardous-materials. It also provides technical rescue, such as vehicle, confined space, water, and trench rescue. The station is staffed by professional fire fighters, who are certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and are equipped to respond to emergency medical calls with an Aid car and a fire engine to respond to fires and rescue calls. As services have expanded since the station was built in 1974, the building is not as capable of supporting all of the current levels of service functions and its location is not optimal to meet response targets for all of Finn Hill.
The current Finn Hill Fire Station is staffed only at night by reserve personnel who respond in tandem with professional firefighters and perform limited emergency medical response as certified EMTs. Beginning January 1, 2012, reserve staff will serve the community in a new role by providing emergency management and community education.
“Kirkland is a community committed to disaster preparedness,” states Nalder. “The community will enhance its resilience with the support of these dedicated volunteers who have long served Kirkland.”
Up until the annexation of the Finn Hill neighborhood -as well as North Juanita and Kingsgate neighborhoods- in June, 2011, fire and emergency medical response to Finn Hill was the responsibility of the King County Fire Protection District #41 (FD #41), who contracted with the City of Kirkland Fire Department for those services. Although annexation did not change the services residents received, it did change the governance structure, as FD #41 has since dissolved.
As early as 2004, FD #41 began a process to locate a site to build a new fire station. Property owned by the Lake Washington School District was considered by FD #41 early in the process, and in recent years a portion of Big Finn Hill Park was considered. Now that the City of Kirkland is the direct service provider, it has initiated a new search and has hired TCA Architecture-Planning Inc. to conduct site identification and evaluation involving public input throughout the process.
For project updates and to subscribe to receive updates via email, visit www.kirklandwa.gov/finnhillstation. For more about the community workshop, contact Marie Stake, Communications Program Manager at 425-587-3021 firstname.lastname@example.org.